NATO now out of Afghanistan

The Guardian reports:

After 13 years of war, Nato formally ended its combat operations in Afghanistan on Sunday, leaving the Afghan army and police in charge of security in a country plagued by continued fighting, a ferocious insurgency and a rising tide of both military and civilian casualties.

Against a backdrop of violent clashes in a number of provinces and several weeks of deadly attacks on the capital, military leaders lowered the flag of a mission conceived in 2001, and hoisted the colours of a new one under which Nato’s role will largely be restricted to training, advising and assisting the local army and police.

“Our Afghan partners can and will take the fight from here,” said General John F Campbell, the commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) at a ceremony in the capital.

13 years is more than long enough.

As insurgent attacks have increased in many parts of the country in 2014, Afghan forces have already been leading the fight in recent months – but at a high price.

More than 5,000 local security forces have been killed this year alone, the highest toll since the war began. In comparison, the international coalition has suffered a total of 3,485 deaths since 2001.

Ouch, that’s a high death rate. But to be blunt, the outcome in Afghanistan of what is a sort of civil war is no longer of global importance.

The new President of Afghanistan seems to be of higher calibre than his predecessor. He may be able to secure a peace deal and help rebuild the state.

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